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cheerfully in the Fiery Chair, his Persecutors had prepared for him, and say, Ii's not we that do eat Children, but it's you that devour innocent Christians. It was resolution made Blandina encourage her Fellow-Christians, though she was wounded, torn, bruised, rack'd, and miserably handled. It was resolution made Job bear his losses and ulcers with invincible magnanimity, and as
* Tertul. lib. de said, play with the Worms that patientia. c. 14.
Erumpentes Bestiobred in his Sores, and, as they las in eosdem spec were crawling out, drive them cus eu pastus fora
minore carnis 14back into the holes and pastures dendo revocabat. of his putrified flesh. It was resolution made David run through a Troop, and leap over Walls, Pfal. 18. 29. It was his resolution made these words drop from him, I have fworn, and will perform it, that I will keep the righteous Judgments
. I will speak of thy Testimonies before Kings, and will not be ashami'd, and I will delight my self in thy Commandments; my hands will I lift up unto thy Precepts which I have lov’d, and I will meditate in thy Statutes, Pfal. 119.46,106. And why should not my resolution prompt me to the fame generous enterprizes ? Why should other men, to purchase an immortal fame, resolve to lose their ease, and Lives, and Estates, and all that's dear and pleasing to them here below, and I not refolve to lore my Sins, my Lusts, my
Lusts, my Pleasures, to gain an everlasting Inheritance ? My heart is ready, my heart is ready ; a gracious God invites me, a
loving Saviour calls to me from his Cross, Wash ye, make ye clean, put away the evil of doings from before mine eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do well; a holy fan&ifying Spirit beckons me. The great God, that might laugh at my calamity, and mock when my fear comes, because he hath call’d, and I refus'd, because he hath so often stretched forth bis hands unto me, and I have not regarded ; this great, this tender Father, after all the wrongs, and injuries, and abuses, and insolencies I have offer'd him, is willing to receive me, provided I'll be faithful to him, run no more after other Lovers, and resign my self to be guided, governed and directed by him. And can I resist that Love? Can I harden my heart against these Charms ? Can I refuse this kindness ? spurn at this favour? flight this stupendous Blessing ? and provoke him to swear in his wrath, that I shall never enter into his reft ! No, no, I yield, I render
my self Captive; O God! thou seest my heart, I have no reservations. I lay down all at thy feet. Cover my head in the Day of Battel. Inspire me, I'll run in the Race which is set before me. By thee will I run through a Troop, with my God, will I leap over a Wall. I'll pursue mine Enemies, and overtake them; neither will I turn again, till I have consumed them. Behold, they that are with me, are more than those which are against me. Behold, the Mountain is full of Horses, and Chariots of Fire round about Elisha. The Lord is with me, the God
of Jacob is my refuge. I am convinc'd, that God's service is perfect freedom. He that enters upon it, is under the Government of a lawful Prince, his Life is sweet and easie, he feels no Tyranny, no Oppreffion; the King with everlasting kindness visits him, and guides his feet into the ways of peace, gives bis Angels charge to keep him in his going out, and in his coming in, and will not suffer any of his Bones to be broken. He is with him in distress, and when he weeps, holds a Bottle under to catch his tears, Pfal. 56. 8. He binds
his Wounds, and is a Wall of Brass to him, that mocks at the flashes of Hell, and dashes all the fiery Darts of the Devil. : He covers him with his Feathers, and his truth is his Shield and Buckler. His eyes watch over him, and his ears are open to his: Prayers. He protects him from the Peltilence that walks in darkness, and from the destruction that wasts at Noon-day. His groanings are not hid from him, and he preferves him in all his ways. He takes notice of his work and labour of love, and there is a Book of remembrance written before him, for them that fear the Lord, and think upon his name. Here men are free from Nayifh fear, as being under the Wings of a Father. Here nothing but love rules in their hearts, which makes their yoke ease, and their burthen light; makes the Itrait Gate pleasant, and the narrow way full of delight and satisfaction. Here peace of Conscience reigns, A peace which is not procured 1
by by riches or plenty, or the Worlds deceitful Glory, or a multitude of Children, or strength of Body, a peace which kills the Worm within, and frees the Soul from her Prison of grief and sorrow; a peace which purifies the mind from all uncleanness, and is a Bed of Roses, enrich'd by showers from above; a peace which is most truly God's Banqueting-house, Christ's Palace, and the Habitation of the Holy Ghosts a Peace which is felt on Earth, yet lives already in Heaven ; a peace, which fills the Soul with greater joy than Jacob's coming from the field did the amorous Rachel; or Foseph's being alive, the heart of the aged Patriarch. Here men fit quiet under their own Vine, and under their own Fig tree, and the Subjects of this Kingdom are acquainted with joy in the Holy Ghost. Here they are secure. The Enemy may molest, but he cannot break them. He may Ibew his teeth, but he cannot bite ; he may rage, but he cannot ravish them out of God's hands. He may raise a Storm, but cannot overthrow their Vellel ; fet their House on fire, but cannot confume them; rain Brimstone upon them, but they have a Zoar to flee to. Here the love of God illuminates their minds, purifies their Consciences, establishes their Souls, makes glad their Hearts, and unites them to that Light, which lighterh every man that comes into the World. Here the evil Spirits of their fins are cast out, and the Spirit of God enters into them, even the Spirit of Joy, the Spirit of Power, of Love,
and of a sound mind. Here men are freed from the Curse of the Law, and their minds are employed in the noblest contemplations. Here they dwell in the secret place of the most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Here I'll fix, here I'll build Tabernacles, for it's good to be here. Away with all suggestions that would make me unwilling or backward to this work.' Away with all thoughts that would difcourage me. Away with all imaginations that would possess me with misconstructions of the ways of God. Ye are all miserable Comforters, ye seek not the good, but the loss and desolation of my Soul. I'll seek the things which are above, where Christ fitteth on the right hand of God; I'll set my affections on things above, and not on things on Earth; I am dead to all these sublunary Vanities, and my life is hid with Christ in God; and when Christ, who is my Life, fhall appear, then shall I also appear with him in Glory.
Without such resolutions as these, Consideration is lame and feeble : It's practical Consideration that must do the work, and it is these resolutions make it fo; the necessity of which Consideration is the next thing I must endeavour to demonstrate.
C HA P.